Stand-up comedy is kind of dead right now, if you ask some people. Sure there are still plenty of comedy clubs out there doing their thing, and Jerry Seinfeld makes a killing whenever he sets foot on a stage, but the rising stars all seem to be coming out of sketch or improv. It’s hard to be edgy these days when you stand up at a microphone and make joke after joke. Well, unless Dane Cook is your definition of edgy.

But R.J. Cutler wants to bring us back to the good ol’ days, when men were men and Richard Pryor was still with us. He’s planning on making a documentary based on Richard Zoglin’s just-published book Comedy at the Edge, about the rise of stand-up in the 1970’s. Variety says that Zoglin, who will cooperate with Cutler in making the film, has access to archival footage of the comics as well as relationships with the performers themselves. Steve Martin, Richard Pryor and George Carlin are all featured in the book, though it goes on to discuss the rise of Jerry Seinfeld and other 1980s comics as well.

We all know these guys are funny, but will a documentary about them be funny too? I’m guessing yes, if only because of Variety’s suggestion that some of the comics will be interviewed for the film as well. It seems a topic worth exploring, especially since the legacy of these comics keeps fading as time goes on. Cutler has won an Oscar for his documentary work in the past, so we all know he’s a guy who knows what he’s doing. Just put him in touch with his funny bone and he should be good to go.
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